Business Buzz

The Kansan

City adjusting hours for Utility Billing Office

The City of Newton is adjusting the hours of operation at the Utility Billing Office. Beginning Nov. 1, 2021, the office will be open: 7:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays and  8 a.m. to noon Fridays.

According to city staff, the change is designed to provide more flexibility for utility customers. Free account management and bill pay is also offered through the City website and a 24-hour phone line at 877-333-0820. Checks and money orders also may be deposited in the drop box outside City Hall at any time.

Habitat to host annual fundraiser

Habitat for Humanity of Harvey County will  be serving up a dinner from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Nov. 18 at Faith Mennonite Church, 2100 N. Anderson, for an annual fundraiser.

Donations will help build another Habitat home in 2022. The 2021 home will be dedicated at 3 p.m. Oct. 24 at 1409 N. Oak, Newton.

The dinner will feature a smoked pork chop with green beans, potatoes, roll and dessert. RSVPs are requested by Nov. 2. To reserve  meals and pick-up time, contact Kendra Davila at 316-200-8807 or email her at 

Due to continued  COVID-19 concerns, the organization is offering a drive-through meal again.

Donations can be mailed to  Habitat for Humanity of Harvey County, PO Box 1015, Newton KS 67114. Donations will also be accepted at meal pickup.

Chamber to host breakfast

The next Newton Area Chamber of Commerce breakfast will be 7:15 a.m. Oct. 15 at The Meridian Center, 420 E Broadway Ct.

The breakfast will be sponsored by Kansas Electric. The company will give a presentation that giving an overview of Kansas Electric, including a brief history of the company, services they provide, and their company vision. They will also provide an introduction of their new Apprenticeship Program with Hutchinson Community College.

The cost to attend breakfast is $12 per person. To register, click the link below, or you can contact Rachael Gibbons at or call (316) 283-2560. The deadline to register is  Oct. 12. If you do not register in advance but attend in person, the cost will be $13.

Attendees are encouraged to wear a mask.

Kelly announces program to strengthen manufacturing supply chain

TOPEKA – Governor Laura Kelly  announced last week the official launch of CONNEX™ Kansas, a new program from Kansas Manufacturing Solutions  and the Kansas Department of Commerce, designed to strengthen the Kansas manufacturing supply chain.

CONNEX™ Kansas is an online manufacturer database and connectivity platform provided as a free resource for Kansas manufacturers. The platform is designed to allow manufacturers in Kansas to connect with each other, find local and domestic suppliers, explore production capabilities and manage their supply chain.

“The Kansas Framework for Growth recognizes manufacturing as an area of strength for the state. It focuses on ways Kansas can embrace emerging opportunities and solidify our role as a manufacturing leader and central hub for 21st century supply-chain success,” Governor Kelly said. “The CONNEX™ Kansas platform will bolster our local and regional supply chains by allowing firms to see a clearer picture of local resources or alternative suppliers that can lead to more informed decisions and more profitable sourcing strategies.”

“Manufacturing is an essential backbone for the Kansas economy. Supply chain disruption has created an opportunity for firms to build and source products closer to home,” Lieutenant Governor David Toland said. “I applaud the launch of this new resource for Kansas manufacturers, which will help empower firms with the data and tools they need to seize this moment to grow and scale up as the demand presents itself.”

Basic search and contact information for Kansas manufacturers will be available to anyone on the platform; however, the ability to list detailed information, perform in-depth searches and exchange information is only available to registered Kansas manufacturing businesses.

“Our CONNEX™ Kansas online database is a powerful new tool for Kansas manufacturers,” Tiffany Stovall, CEO of Kansas Manufacturing Solutions, said. “Over the past year, we’ve seen how critical it is to have secure and reliable supply chains, as well as having ready access to alternate suppliers. This database will be unique in its ability to identify manufacturing capabilities, not just current production.”

The CONNEX™ Kansas platform is easy to use and intuitive, and an account can be set up in a few minutes. To register or get more information, visit

Kansas Manufacturing Solutions is a Kansas statewide manufacturing assistance center affiliated with the NIST Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP).